U.S. retailers hiring more seasonal employees this year: Aon Hewitt

Majority of hiring managers say seasonal hires best way to find permanent employees
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/05/2012

Holiday hiring is expected to rise as United States retailers anticipate increased consumer spending this holiday season, according to a new survey from Aon Hewitt.

One-half (53 per cent) of retail managers expect customers to spend more this year, and as a result, 48 per cent plan to hire more seasonal workers than they did last year, found the survey of 500 hiring managers.

More than 80 per cent of retail managers with hiring authority believe seasonal hires are the best way to find full-time employee prospects. In fact, 28 per cent anticipate offering permanent positions to half or more of their 2012 seasonal hires, found the survey.

"As the American economy improves, retailers anticipate a busier holiday season than last year, and hiring qualified talent to address this expected demand will be just one of many competing priorities for them," said Melissa Mounce, senior director and global operations leader at Aon Hewitt.
"Finding and keeping qualified talent requires having both short- and long-term strategies in place that enable retail managers to easily connect with the right pool of candidates and make more informed hiring decisions based on personality, cultural fit and capability."

Despite seasonal hires providing an applicant pool for permanent employees, the seasonal hiring process remains inefficient. More than 85 per cent of retail managers admit they have made a mistake when hiring seasonal staff in previous years, with the top mistakes being not interviewing enough candidates (53 per cent), hiring the first person that walks in the store (19 per cent) and managing the entire hiring process alone (14 per cent), found the survey.

Fifty-five per cent of respondents say they have hired sub-par seasonal help just to fill positions, making the process of getting the right people into the right jobs even more challenging at the busiest time of year.

"As everyone ramps up for the holiday selling season, many retail managers don't have enough time to dedicate to the all-important hiring process," said David Bradford, CEO at HireVue, which was also a part of the survey. "Hiring managers should branch out from traditional hiring methods and consider new and emerging strategies like pre-screening applicants through video submissions."

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